Monthly Archives: January 2017

Some Day

Some Day

“Some days your soul is ripped apart. Some days the sadness threatens to drown you. Some days the silence threatens to drive you insane. Some days you look back and beg for the past. Some days you put on a pretty face. Some days you fall apart. Some days you decide to keep going. Some days you smile. Some days you laugh. Some days you look ahead. Some days you make it. Some days you fake it. Some days are still days…Live them, love them, share them, and remember them.”~Me from my Facebook.

Today is one of those days. I look around and I think…is this REALLY my life?! Don’t take that the wrong way. I am thankful for many things in my life, but today the reality of my life just hit me again. And. It. Stinks.

A friend texted me and said, “A lot of people think it’s only hard on birthdays or anniversaries of special dates, but then just a Wednesday happens”.

Boy, was she ever right! Grief has a way of hitting you over and over again no matter how long it has been since you lost that special person. And, it doesn’t matter who it was that you lost either.

Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, children, friends, spouses…no matter who it was that disappeared from your life, the grief that hits you on a Wednesday feels exactly the same as the grief that hit you on the day your person died.

I have learned quite a few things about grief over the past year and a half. I am so thankful that I have had the privilege of getting to know lots of other people who are on the grief road with me. Every story, every tear, every heartache that I’ve heard stays with me. I try so hard to keep each persons story and loss straight in my mind. I don’t ever want to forget that I am not the only one traveling this lonely road. That’s easy to forget when the Wednesday’s hit.

Throughout all of my conversations with literally hundreds of different people over the past year (and a half…), I have picked up on some things that I would like to address. You will either agree or disagree with what I am about to say…and you are entitled to your opinion of course. However, I would ask that you truly THINK about the things I am going to say before you respond to them. Deal?

OK, first is the issue of dating after becoming a widow or widower. I have encountered many, Many, MANY different opinions on this subject and I have given it a lot of thought. When a person who has lost his/her spouse decides to date again he/she is making a conscious decision to keep on living.

Let that sink in for a second.

They are choosing to live, despite the fact that they are having to fight for every single breath that they take each and every day. Do you think dating someone is what they WANT to do? Trust me…it is the LAST thing they WANT to do, but it is something they MUST do in order to move forward if they don’t want to be alone for the rest of their lives. In case you forgot, they did not choose to be single again. They were (for the most part) happily married to their spouse UNTIL DEATH DO US PART.

For some reason people feel free to judge what he/she is doing with fierceness. The most critical, mean, hateful judgments are most often hurled from the very people who are closest to the surviving spouse. Children (grown or not), parents, family, friends, and fellow church members get flat out offended when that person starts dating again. Why?

This is what all of those “well-meaning” comments really say to a person choosing to live again:

                  “I’m sorry you lost your spouse. I really hate that you were left alone. I will pray for you, BUT I must go home now. See, I have to go back to my house. I can’t stay here and sit in your quiet home with you all of the time. I must leave you here to sit all alone. I expect you to get over being so sad before I see you again though. I seriously cannot take the reality of your grief any longer.

                    If you cry, please do it here. We don’t want to see it or hear about it, because our lives are still very full. We are going to get into our car and drive away. We are going to cook dinner for our family; watch a little TV in the living room; and then we are going to crawl into our beds where we will snuggle up next to our spouse and sleep until the alarm goes off around 6 a.m.

                    While we do that though, you just sit right here by yourself…in complete silence. You really need to focus and think about the person you lost…um k?  Oh! But whatever you do, DO NOT reach out to another living soul on this Earth besides me to help ease the loneliness and pain you are feeling. Especially, since I know exactly what your spouse would want you to do and obviously you didn’t know him/her well enough to know that for yourself.” (Insert eye roll)

Why is that OK? Why do we allow our kids, families, friends, co-workers, and church families to tell us that we deserve to be alone? Why do we allow them to make us feel guilty for choosing to live? Why do they feel entitled to tell us how we should act period? It literally feels like all of a sudden everyone you know is able to tell you all about your marriage even though the only person you were married to is gone…and is never coming back. The last time I checked my Bible a marriage was made up of one man, one woman, and God. Am I reading that wrong?

Next, why do we have a timeline that apparently everyone knows about who HAS NOT lost a person close to them; yet those of us who HAVE can’t seem to find it? I have searched literally high and low trying to find where God said we have to grieve according to a certain schedule and I can’t find it. Maybe you are reading a different Bible than I am or something. I don’t know.

What I do know is, there is not a timeline on Earth that will heal a broken heart. Those timelines don’t exist as far as I can tell. I’d pay big money for one though. Big money.

Just this week I have talked to three different people who have all experienced the death of a parent, a child, and a spouse. All of those people said similar things in each of our conversations about how they had been treated by the people closest to them after loosing people they love.  I could see the hurt in their eyes. I could feel the sadness in their voices.

I understood exactly how they felt.

See guys, I am upset with myself and my friends for unknowingly allowing people to hurt us so badly. I am upset with the spoiled, insensitive, rude people who call themselves “friends and family”; yet continuously do things that are mean, hurtful and uncalled for in the name of “love, honor, and respect” for the person who died.

But, I can’t even stay upset with them because they don’t even realize what they are saying!

Here is what God says:

                       “And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all that I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

                          Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

                             Love never fails. But where there are prophesies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face; even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”  ~ 1 Cor. 13: 1-13

So, today is someone’s SOME DAY. Today is the day that the light bulb goes off and suddenly…clearly…consciously someone will see and understand what they are REALLY saying to the people they proclaim to love.

This grief road is hard enough as it is, please don’t make it any harder by not realizing what and how your words are coming across. The tongue is a double edged sword. It cuts deep and leaves lasting wounds that don’t heal over night.

Choose to listen.

Choose to see.

Choose to understand.

Choose to love…always…forever…as long as you are here.

And, for goodness sakes….PLEASE think before you speak.

The deeply wounded, grieving, surviving, living people of the this world say:



Daddy Jack and Me


“Get up in that seat right there. Now, that peddle there is the gas. This one is the clutch. You gotta push one and let go of the other at the same time. The SAME TIME…you hear me? Don’t do it to fast, just ease off of that one and give it a little gas. You gotta do it quick though. Don’t let it jerk, ’cause it will die. We ain’t got time to let it die. You just gotta ease off and let it go. Alright, go on now…go.”

Every fiber in my body shook as I took my foot off of that clutch. I held that steering wheel tight and I pushed in the gas peddle as easy as I could. I was eight years old, sitting in a hay field behind the wheel of a three-quarter ton Ford with a half-way loaded hay trailer hooked to the back. My daddy, uncles, and Daddy Jack were all back there behind me tossing hay bales onto the trailer. They needed a driver though…and I was the one who got the job.

I eased my foot off the clutch and stepped on the gas…that old engine roared and the whole truck shook and bounced forward before it died. “I TOLD YOU TO TAKE IT EASY!! YOU GOTTA LET OFF THE CLUTCH AND EASE ONTO THE GAS. I TOLD YOU TO BE EASY! YOU ARE GONNA KILL SOMEBODY!! CRANK IT BACK UP. DO IT AGAIN. JUST EASE OFF THE CLUTCH. EASE OFF IT. JUST GIVE IT A LITTLE GAS. GO ON NOW, WE GOTTA GET THIS HAY UP. DO IT AGAIN.”

My heart literally pounded in my chest. I had to do this right or I was gonna get in more trouble. I took a deep breathe, turned the key, eased off the clutch, and by some miracle managed to give it enough gas to jump forward….but it didn’t go dead! Hallelujah!!

I eased on up and managed to keep it running until I got to the end of the row. I didn’t know how to turn that monster truck and trailer yet. How did you turn it without making it go dead? How did you turn it without knocking all of the hay off? How did you turn it at all? As I sat there trying to figure it out, I jumped as the door slung open and Daddy Jack said, “Scoot over, Girl. I’ll turn it this time. Watch what I’m doing because when we get to the end of this row, you are gonna turn it and you ain’t gonna let it go dead. Ya hear?”

I watched him make the turn. I saw his feet ease off the peddles and I moved quick when he opened the door and jumped out of the moving truck into the hay field. “There ya go, now just ease the gas down a little. EASY NOW, EASY. OK, just keep going down this row. Don’t let it go dead. When we get down there (he pointed towards the end of the long row), you turn it. Go on now…” and he disappeared to the back of the trailer where he joined the other men who were tossing hay bales onto the trailer for my daddy to stack.

That was the day I learned how to drive. It was also the day that I fell in love with driving…and working…and being a farm girl. I never minded getting dirty or working for hours in the hay field. When all of your same aged cousins are mostly girls and you lived on THIS farm…everyone worked like grown men. Honestly, I think it wouldn’t have mattered if we were girls or boys. Daddy Jack expected everybody to work hard and that was that. If the job was there to do, you did it. Period.

He had a way of making it fun though. Like the time we had to haul firewood. He told us to pick it up as fast as he cut it and we did. He went down that tree cutting and stepping as fast as that ol’ STIHL® chainsaw would cut. Me and my cousins were right behind him picking up piece after piece filling up the  bed of that little Toyota pickup truck in no time. He laughed as we fought to be the next one to pick up a piece and kept on a cuttin’ until he had the whole tree cut up.

And, the time he poured the cement for my porches. It was the dead of winter in 2006. Greg was building our log house and we wanted our porches swung all around. Daddy Jack was the best cement man there was and we asked him to pour them for us. Well, the day that they started working on them was freezing cold. We wanted them washed, so we knew it was gonna be a long day before they started around 7:00 that morning. What we didn’t know was that the cement was gonna freeze because the temperature never got out of the low 30’s that whole day.

So, fifteen hours later at 3:00 am when we had all of the construction heaters blowing and the water hoses running to wash the top layer of mud off of the rocks Daddy Jack looks around and says, “Hell, this mud ain’t nothin’ but ice. Look at that…see”. Then he sprayed the water towards me and splashed it lightly on my clothes. I screamed, jumped back into the doorway, and laughed as I shook the water off of the front of my six-month pregnant belly. He pointed at the door and said, “get your little butt back in there where it’s warm. You need to be sleepin’, not washing mud”. So, that’s exactly what I did.

Then, there was the snow. He loved snow. In the eighties we had a snow storm that knocked out power for a week. We played and played in the snow with him that year. Then, in 1993 we used inner tubes from his tractor tires and his little white Toyota (the same one from the firewood hauling) to play on in the field beside his house. We played and built snowmen all over the place. He considered himself a snowman building king. This picture was taken the last time we had a big snow a couple of years ago. He told Paula (his wife) to take a picture and send it to all of his kids so they would know how a real snowman should look when it was built right.


Sitting here tonight my mind is racing between so many memories of my Daddy Jack and me. He was a hard working man. Working… for him, was fun. He set the standard for my whole family. All of us are naturally hard workers because he never let us be anything else. I look through my family and I see his influence on all of us. His wives, his kids, his son-in-laws, his grand kids, his friends. Everyone who loved him works themselves to death because of him. And not one of us would have it any other way.

My Daddy Jack went home last night. He fought a hard battle with cancer over the last year. He left this life surrounded by all four of his kids and his wife at home. Just exactly how he wanted it to be minus the pain he was in.

I can just see the light in his eyes when he saw Greg standing there to greet him. I know there are so many other people who were there to greet him as well, but my heart is happy knowing that Greg was one of them. They had a special bond here and knowing they are together up there brings peace to my heart like nothing else could.


I spent a day with Daddy Jack last spring at his house down by the creek. We sat in his sun room and watched the redbirds play in his yard. He told me that day that he was ready to go home. He also told me to watch for the redbirds, because they were messengers from Heaven. He believed that and so do I. He was the man who taught me to pray. He made sure we knew who God was and he made sure we respected Him. He made a lot of mistakes in his life and he told me that day “that we all do”.

He said, “Mistakes is mistakes. We all gonna’ make ’em. But, when you do, you gotta ask God to help ya make ’em right. He’s the only way. You gonna make mistakes, Girl. Just own up to ’em and keep going. What else can you do?”

A couple of weeks ago he sat up in bed and sang “Jesus Loves Me” out of the blue. My heart jumps at the thought of him singing that particular song. See, that was one of  Greg’s last songs as well. The day we lost him we went to church and we sang “Jesus Loves Me”. It’s weird how God connects things without us even realizing it.

Sadness weighs heavily on my heart tonight. I will miss that old man more than you could ever imagine. I loved him so much and would do anything for him. Looking around my home, I see so many pieces of his handiwork. My dining room table, my island in my laundry room, my table by the door, my birdhouses scattered all around inside and outside. So many things that I cherish because he made them with his own  two hands.

Heaven can’t get here soon enough for me. I long for the day when I am sitting and watching him build something else. Listening to him talk and watching him laugh. Until that day, I will cherish each and every memory I have of him. I will smile when I remember how he yelled at me for some little thing and I will cry when I miss him so much it hurts. One thing I am sure of, he was the best grand-daddy a girl could have and I can’t wait to see him again.

My siblings and I were sitting around talking with my Mama tonight and we discovered a couple of remarkable things. First, we realized that all of our kids have been to more funerals than weddings in their lives. They are all ten years old or younger. Their compassion and understanding of Heaven is amazing and we are so proud of how well they are handling yet another loss. Looking back it is truly overwhelming.

Secondly, we were so touched by the fact that all of my mother’s siblings were with both of their parents when they died. That’s just a very odd thing to happen I would say. We are a tight family, but what a blessing for my Mama and her siblings to be holding first their mother’s, then their father’s hand as they crossed into eternity.

We’ve lost a lot of people in our family over the past year and a half. Daddy Jack was my last grandparent and now he’s gone. If you have your family, please take time to spend with them. Take it from me, you never know when your life could change forever. Love each other as much as you can, because the memories are what keep you going when you don’t think you can go anymore.

Thank you for praying for us always…and especially throughout the next few days. We are sure gonna need them!

Love you all,